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Safe house where Ambassador died had no Marine guard and his body was missing for five hours: Full scale of chaos surrounding Libyan killings revealed

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  • Benghazi  consulate was not protected by the contingent of Marines that usually safeguard  embassies and instead was guarded by Libyan and State Department security  officers
  • Embassy was  ‘an interim facility’ lacking bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other  features common to embassies
  • USS Laboon  and USS McFaul, which are both armed with Tomahawk missiles, to be sent to the  coast of Libya
  • Attack came amid protests following film The Innocence  Of Muslims which ‘insults Prophet Mohammed’
  • Attackers  could have been staging revenge attack for death of al Qaeda official in  June
  • Officials  noted that attack came on 11th anniversary of 9/11
  • U.S.  ambassador Christopher Stevens died of ‘smoke inhalation’  after grenade attack on  consulate in Benghazi
  • President  Obama vows to hunt down Stevens’ killers
  • Marines on  their way to Benghazi to provide additional security and drones expected to  gather intelligence

By Jill Reilly

PUBLISHED:18:14 EST, 12  September 2012| UPDATED:13:47 EST, 13 September 2012

Killed: Christopher Stevens was a career diplomat who died as he tried to evacuate staff from the US consulate in Benghazi
Killed: Christopher Stevens was a career diplomat who  died as he tried to evacuate staff from the U.S. consulate in Benghazi

The full scale of the chaos in the wake of an  attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya became clear today after it emerged  American Ambassador Christopher Stevens was missing for five hours.

It has also been revealed  that the Benghazi consulate was not  protected by the contingent of Marines that usually safeguard embassies and  instead was guarded by Libyan and State Department security  officers.

A senior administration official said the  embassy was ‘an interim facility,’ which the State  Department began using  ‘before the fall of Gaddafi” reported Politico.

The embassy was vulnerable to attack because  it did not have bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other  features common to  embassies, according to reports.

The attack has prompted President Barack  Obama to demand increased security at U.S. embassies around the  world.

Gunfire erupted at the Benghazi  compound at  10pm on Tuesday night and with the attack coming in two  waves, Libyan and  American authorities did not regain control again until 2:30am.

A U.S. State Department official said  Mr  Stevens and his team ‘became separated from each other due to the  heavy, dark  smoke while they were trying to evacuate the burning  building.’

At some time between 10.15 pm and 11.20 pm,  Mr Stevens was taken from the main building by Libyans to the hospital.

But the diplomat was not seen again  by his  colleagues until hours later when his body was brought to the  Benghazi airport  from the hospital.

The attack came amid violence in Libya and  Cairo, which had been sparked by a  14-minute trailer for a film called The Innocence Of Muslims posted on  YouTube.

The description of events at the  consulate,  while preliminary, appeared to raise questions about security preparations and  procedures.

A U.S. official said there were no U.S.  military personnel at the mission in Benghazi at the time of the attack.

Questioned about the consulate’s  security,  the officials said the compound was guarded by both  Libyan security and a  ‘robust’ force of U.S. security officers, and that a regular security review  before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had recently been  completed.

‘And at that point there was no  information  and there were no threat streams to indicate that we were  insufficiently  postured,’ said another U.S. official.

Burnt out: The U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi - it has also been revealed today that the Benghazi consulate was not protected by the contingent of Marines that usually safeguard embassies Burnt out: The U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of  Benghazi – it has also been revealed today that the Benghazi consulate was not  protected by the contingent of Marines that usually safeguard embassies
Panic: A U.S. State Department official said Mr Stevens and his team 'became separated from each other due to the heavy, dark smoke while they were trying to evacuate the burning building'Panic: A U.S. State Department official said Mr Stevens  and his team ‘became separated from each other due to the heavy, dark smoke  while they were trying to evacuate the burning building’

Target: The embassy was vulnerable to attack because it did not have bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to embassiesTarget: The embassy was vulnerable to attack because it  did not have bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to  embassies

‘I HAVE A HOLE IN MY HEART’:  DEAD AMBASSADOR’S MOTHER PAYS TRIBUTE TO SON SHE LOST IN LIBYA

This undated photo provided by Mary Commanday shows Chris Stevens. Stevens The family of U.S.  ambassador killed in the  brazen attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya  remember his fearless nature and  remarkable composure.

Christoper Steven’s mother, Mary Commanday  told New York Daily News: ‘He did love  what he did, and did a very good job  with it. He could have done a lot  of other things, but this was his  passion.’

‘I have a hole in my heart,’ said his  mother.

Stevens’ stepfather Bob Commanday, 90, of  Oakland, said the diplomat would tell  his mother his assignments in the Arab  world were ‘no more dangerous  than Oakland.’

‘He was selfless,’ said his younger brother  Thomas Stevens, an assistant U.S. Attorney in San Francisco.

‘He got along with everyone he met because he  was interested in them, not in himself. That’s what made him a great  diplomat.’

His family last saw him about four months  ago, Mr Commanday said, when they threw him a farewell party in the San  Francisco Bay area.

His brother was not surprised to hear that  Stevens risked his life to help his staff.

‘He’s loyal. He doesn’t bail out,’ Thomas  Stevens said. ‘The thought of driving away was not consistent with who he  was.’

In response to the attacks, the U.S.  has  launched a major military manhunt to find the terrorists  responsible,  announcing they are sending warships to the  coast of Libya in an apparent terrorist hunt, andAmerican drone aircraft are also expected  to join the search for potential targets.

The White House has said it is keeping an  open mind as to the reason for Tuesday’s strike in Libya,but it is investigating whether the  attack in Benghazi was planned in advance by terrorists.

The assault had initially been thought to  have been a spontaneous reaction  to protests over an anti-Islamic film, but  there is now speculation it  was a long-planned ambush on the anniversary of the  9/11 terrorist  attack, or a revenge attack for death of an al Qaeda official in  June in Yemen.

State Department officials said the two  incidents at the diplomatic missions were not related and said they believe the  Benghazi violence was a ‘clearly planned attack.’

A U.S. counter-terrorism official said the  Benghazi violence was ‘too co-ordinated or professional’ to be  unplanned.

The  attack raises questions about the future  U.S. diplomatic presence in  Libya, relations between Washington and Tripoli,  and the unstable  security situation after Gaddafi’s overthrow.

It has also raised issues about why the  building, which had been attacked before, was so poorly protected.

It has been suggested that the attack was in  retaliation for the death of anal Qaeda  official, which was confirmed this week and that should have meant  security  would have been high at the U.S embassy in the troubled region.

Officials have voiced their concern that the  attack was timed for the  11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, which  were commemorated  across the U.S. on Tuesday.

‘We’ve been talking for years about the  desire of al Qaeda, radical jihadists to celebrate the anniversary of 9/11,’ Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the  House intelligence committee, told FoxNews.com.

‘All my background, all of the conversations  that I’ve had over the  last 18 hours, lead many people to believe that this was  just more than a mere coincidence.’

He  added that Al Qaeda chief Ayman  al-Zawahri recently released a video  calling on militants to attack Americans  for revenge for the death of Abu Yahya  al-Libi in  Pakistan – and that the  anti-Mohammed film could have been a cover.

A London think tank  run by a former Libyan  militant leader also suggested on Tuesday that not  only was the Benghazi attack  ‘well planned’, but that it may have been  retaliation.

The Quilliam Foundation said that 24 hours  before the Benghazi incident, al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, distributed a  video to militant  websites in which he confirmed the death of his second in  command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, and urged Libyans to avenge his killing.

Quilliam, whose president, Noman  Benotman,  once was a leader of an anti-Gaddafi militant faction said  that according to  its sources, up to 20 militants had prepared for a  military  assault.

Loss: Chris Stevens, pictured in Tripoli in June, was a 21-year veteran of the foreign service and determined to bring democracy to the people of Libya

Loss: Chris Stevens, pictured in Tripoli in June, was a  21-year veteran of the foreign service and determined to bring democracy to the  people of Libya

(FILES) - A picture dated June 7, 2012 shows US ambassador to Libya,Sean Smith

Victims: Mr Stevens (left) died from smoke  inhalation  while communications officer Sean Smith (right), a married  father-of-two, was  also killed in the attack

Making a difference: Mr Obama said it was tragic how Mr Stevens, left, died in a country he had helped saveMaking a difference: Mr Obama said it was tragic how Mr  Stevens, left, died in a country he had helped save

Meanwhile, further details have emerged about  the Benghazi attack – Mr Stevens and information technology  specialist Sean  Smith were killed during an attempt by U.S. forces to  evacuate staff from a  safe house, Libya’s Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Al-Sharif said.

U.S. consular staff were moved to the safe  house after an attack on the  consul building, which also claimed the life of  former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, 42.

A plane with U.S. security units arrived from  Tripoli to evacuate other  staff but militants discovered the location of the  safe house, he said.

‘It was supposed to be a secret place and we  were surprised the armed groups knew about it. There was shooting,’ he  said.

Graphic images taken at the scene show  civilians making desperate attempts to  pull the diplomat to safety. But their  efforts were futile.

The doctor who treated him said he died  of severe asphyxiation, which caused stomach  bleeding and that Mr Stevens had no other injuries

Revolt: An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya

Revolt: Gunfire erupted at the Benghazi compound at 10pm  on Tuesday night and with the attack coming in two waves, Libyan and American  authorities did not regain control again until 2:30am

Anger: Dozens of protesters scaled the embassy walls, and several went into the courtyard and took down the American flag from a pole. They brought it back to the crowd outside, which tried to burn it, but failing that tore it apart

A U.S. State Department official said Mr Stevens and his  team ‘became separated from each other due to the heavy, dark smoke while they  were trying to evacuate the burning building

WAS DEATH OF AL QAEDA LEADER  ABU YAHYA AL-LIBI THE REASON FOR ATTACK ON U.S EMBASSY?

A London think tank run by a former  Libyan militant leader suggested on Tuesday that not only was the  Benghazi  attack ‘well planned,’but that it may have been retaliation for an American  drone attack that killed a Libyan leader of al Qaeda’s core command group  earlier this year.

 Abu Yahya al-Libi whose death was confirmed by al-Qaida chief Ayman Al-Zawahri

The Quilliam Foundation said that 24 hours  before the Benghazi incident, al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, distributed a  video to militant websites in which he confirmed the death of his second in  command, known as Abu Yahya al-Libi, and urged Libyans to avenge his  killing.

Quilliam, whose president, Noman Benotman,  once was a leader of an anti-Gaddafi militant faction said that according to its  sources, up to 20 militants had prepared for a military assault.

Quilliam said the assault on the Benghazi  Consulate took place in two waves.

After the first wave, U.S. officials arranged  an evacuation of the Consulate by Libyan security forces. As the evacuation was  taking place, a second wave of attacks was launched against U.S.  officials.

Dr Ziad Abu Zeid, said  Mr Stevens was  brought to the Benghazi Medical Center by Libyans on Tuesday night with no other  Americans, and that initially no one realized he was the ambassador.

The doctor tried for 90 minutes to revive  him.

Mr Stevens was a career diplomat  who spoke  Arabic and French and had already served two tours in Libya,  including running  the office in Benghazi during the revolt against  Muammar Gaddafi.

Five other U.S. ambassadors have been killed  in the  line of duty, the last being Adolph Dubs in Afghanistan in  1979.

U.S. officials said one destroyer, the USS  Laboon, moved to a position off the coast of Libya, and the USS McFaul  is en  route and should be stationed off the coast within days.

The officials say the ships, which carry  Tomahawk missiles, do not have a  specific mission, but they give commanders  flexibility to respond to any mission ordered by the president.

The destroyers have crews totaling about 300  each. There have been four  destroyers in the Mediterranean for some time. These  moves will increase that to five.

President Barack Obama could also command  unmanned surveillance drones to fly over Benghazi  in search of jihadi  encampments possibly tied to the deadly attack, a  U.S. official said who spoke  on the condition of anonymity.

The drones, which would pass gathered  information to Libyans, are  expected to be approved by the Pentagon and White  House shortly.

With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at  his side on Wednesday, Mr Obama said: ‘Justice will be done.’

A White House official said national security  advisor Tom Donilon first  briefed the president on the violence in Benghazi on  Tuesday afternoon,  and that he was updated throughout the evening, and notified  late  Tuesday that Mr Steven was unaccounted for.

Obama learned Wednesday that Stevens was  confirmed dead Wednesday morning, the official said.

President Obama condemned the attack and paid  tribute to the late  Ambassador Stevens as he ordered increased security at  diplomatic posts  around the world.

‘It’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens  died in Benghazi, as it’s a city  that he helped to save,’ Mr Obama said outside  the White House.

With ‘characteristic skill, courage and  resolve, he built partnerships with  Libyans… and he worked tirelessly to  support this young democracy.

‘He was a role model to those who worked with  him and to the young diplomats who strive to follow in his footsteps.

‘These four Americans stood up for freedom  and human dignity. We grieve with  their families but let us carry on their  memory… I have no doubt that  their legacy will live on.’

He added: ‘The United States condemns in the  strongest possible terms this outrageous and shocking attack. There is no  justification to this type  of senseless violence. None.’

In a statement, Mrs Clinton added: ‘I  had  the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few  months ago.  He risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping  hand to build the  foundation for a new, free nation.’

Reinforcements: The USS Laboon has also been sent to the coast of Libya, one day after Ambassador Stevens' death at the U.S. consulate in BenghaziReinforcements: The USS Laboon has also been sent to the  coast of Libya, one day after Ambassador Stevens’ death at the U.S. consulate in  Benghazi

Destroyer: The USS McFaul is en route and should be stationed off the coast of Libya within daysDestroyer: The USS McFaul is en route and should be  stationed off the coast of Libya within days

There is now speculation over the identity of  the film’s producer who works under the pseudonym of Sam Bacile.

Bacile had told reporters that he was an  Israeli Jew who financed the project with $5million from 100 Jewish  donors.

None of those statements have proven to be  true, and Israeli officials later confirmed that there is no citizen of their  country with that name.

Speaking by phone from an undisclosed  location on Tuesday, ‘Bacile’ remained  defiant, saying he intended his film to  be a provocative political  statement condemning the religion.

‘This is a political movie,’ said Bacile.

‘The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of  people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we’re fighting with  ideas.’

‘Islam is a cancer, period,’ he said  repeatedly.

YouTube has since blocked  the  video in Egypt and Libya.

Condemnation: President Obama, joined by Hillary Clinton, speaks in reaction to the killing of the US Ambassador to Libya on Wednesday morningCondemnation: President Obama, joined by Hillary  Clinton, speaks in reaction to the killing of the US Ambassador to Libya on  Wednesday morning
Tribute: President Obama ordered flags to be flown at half-mast across the country, including at the White House, as seen aboveTribute: President Obama ordered flags to be flown at  half-mast across the country, including at the White House, as seen above

But it can still be seen  elsewhere, including the U.S. as the video sharing site says the clip doesn’t  violate its policies.

The Google-Inc. video site  took the unusual step Wednesday of publicly  commenting on the video, a practice  it typically tries to avoid.

‘We work hard to create a  community everyone can enjoy and which also  enables people to express different  opinions,’ YouTube said in a  statement.

‘This can be a challenge  because what’s OK in one country can be offensive  elsewhere. This video – which  is widely available on the web – is  clearly within our guidelines and so will  stay on YouTube. However,  given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt  we have  temporarily restricted access in both countries. Our hearts are with  the families of the people murdered in yesterday’s attack in  Libya.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2202409/Safe-house-Ambassador-died-Marine-guard-body-missing-hours-Full-scale-chaos-surrounding-Libyan-killings-revealed.html#ixzz26OXzclIA

About Post Author

Ralph Turchiano

I have a strong affinity for the sciences which led me to create my sites. My compulsion for the past decade has been reviewing literally every peer-reviewed research article. Which can easily be validated by following my posts. To me, science is where the real news is, as it will mold our destiny beyond that of politics or economics. 😉 Please feel free to e-mail: 161803p314159@gmail.com
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